This is Sophie Lyons’ #myriseup story!

The beauty of life is that it’s always full of surprises but sometimes life’s circumstances catch us off guard and make us change course. How can you take control and make sure that your health is something you always have control over?

I sat down with Sophie Lyons last week to talk about her impressive weight-loss journey. She lost 50 pounds in 1.5 years by eating healthy food and exercising regularly. I saw her melt away week after week and I couldn’t help but ask her to share her story with all of you.

Throughout high school, Sophie played ringette 3-4 times a week and maintained a healthy weight. When she started university, she took an interest in working out several times a week at the gym. When Sophie moved to Montreal in 2015, she lost her healthy eating and exercise habits and slowly started gaining weight. Unhappy in unfulfilling jobs and other circumstances, it was easy to lose track. Sophie mentioned that she would have wanted her close friends and family to confront her and tell her that she was gaining weight but they didn’t want to hurt her feelings at the time.

In 2018, Sophie decided that enough is enough and she was going to take control of her health. She tried on several occasions to go to the gym and stick to a workout but she kept falling back into unhealthy habits. It clearly was a struggle for her to redevelop the healthy habits she once had. “This has to stop, I would get frustrated training and failing and it would get worse and worse. There were periods where I would say screw it. I gave up that I would never go back to how I used to look, this is my new reality and I should accept it and then I go shopping for new clothes” Sophie said.

One night in 2018 Sophie stumbled upon a famous training app called Freeletics. A german training app that adjusts workouts according to your fitness level and gives you a variety of workouts to keep you constantly engaged. Here are the 5 steps Sophie recommends to get your health back in full gear after weight gain.

Sophie Lyons before the start of her weight-loss journey.

Don’t focus on the journey ahead, just focus on your daily workout. Sophie says.

Sophie Lyons

Tip 1:

Be patient. It will take a minimum of 3 months for you to get into a workout routine so stick with it until you develop the habit. Sophie recommends focussing on each workout and not thinking about the next. Your daily goal should be to get a 20-minute workout in and that’s it. She focused her attention on how well it would feel to sweat after a workout is over and how accomplished that would make her feel. Don’t focus on the journey ahead, just focus on your daily workout. Find a cadence that works for you. You can start with 2 workouts a week and build it up to 3 and then 4 workouts a week until you develop the habit of regularly going to the gym.

A craving is just an emotion that you can control,” Sophie says.

Sophie Lyons

Tip 2:

Try to understand why you overeat and what led you to gain weight. Sophie worked closely with a therapist to help her understand why she was indulging in bad or excessive eating habits. She discovered that food was comforting her during happy, sad or anxious moments. It just became a go-to coping mechanism that slowly took over. Sophie recommends keeping a journal and writing down why you are craving sugar or eating foods that don’t serve you. “A craving is just an emotion that you can control,” Sophie says. Often, after lunch, she craved sugar. Instead of indulging with this craving, Sophie wrote about how this craving made her feel and waited a few minutes until the craving disappeared.

“Stop dwelling on how you used to look like and focus on your future possiblies” Sophie says.

Sophie Lyons
Sophie Lyons 4 months into her weight-loss journey.

Tip 3:

Stop dwelling on the past. Sophie found herself often thinking about how her body used to look before she gained the weight. This strategy did not motivate her or help her move forward. It often made her feel discouraged and angry. “Focus on your future possibilities and what you can potentially look like when you embark on your weight loss journey,” Sophie says.

“Remember that physically you are much stronger than you think” Sophie says.

Tip 4:

Remember that physically you are much stronger than you think. Mentally, it’s going to be difficult to stick to a workout. Find a location that you know you can workout in every time. Maybe it’s your living room or nearby park. Develop the habit of working out at your favorite location to help you eliminate distractions that you might encounter if you were to choose a new workout location every time.

” She doesn’t think it’s healthy to deprive herself of her friend’s company or her favorite meal at a restaurant but she sure doesn’t do it every day”

Sophie Lyons

Tip 5:

Don’t forget to prepare your meals ahead of time. Sophie prepares her meals twice a week, on Sundays and Wednesdays but she also leaves room for herself to go out with friends and eat out. She doesn’t think it’s healthy to deprive herself of her friend’s company or her favorite meal at a restaurant but she sure doesn’t do it every day. Sophie recommends that you find a balance that works best for you.

Sophie Lyons 2 years into her weight-loss journey.

Nothing feels better than taking control of your health. The first steps are always the hardest. If you stick with it and develop the habit of working out slowly, you will be amazed at how far you can go. Slow and steady wins the race.

Sophie is very proud of her accomplishments and she is happier than ever before. She recently received a promotion to systems and content manager at Ready Education and she is feeling very fulfilled with her life, career and most importantly her health. It wasn’t easy to re-engineer her health but all it took was a healthy routine built one step at a time.